Netanyahu vows to annex West Bank’s Jordan Valley if re-elected
JERUSALEM, Sept 11: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a deeply controversial pledge on Tuesday to annex the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank if re-elected in September 17 polls.
Palestinians immediately reacted by saying Netanyahu was destroying any hopes for peace, while his electoral opponents accused him of a cynical play for right-wing nationalist votes with polls only a week away.
In his televised speech, the prime minister also reiterated his intention to annex Israeli settlements in the wider West Bank if re-elected.
But he said he would do that in coordination with US President Donald Trump, whose long-awaited peace plan is expected to be unveiled sometime after the vote.
Those moves could effectively kill any remaining hopes for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, long the focus of international diplomacy.
"There is one place where we can apply Israeli sovereignty immediately after the elections," Netanyahu said during the address that included a map of the Jordan Valley on an easel next to him.
"If I receive from you, citizens of Israel, a clear mandate to do so ... today I announce my intention to apply with the formation of the next government Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea." -AFP